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Jesus’ Way of Love

Yesterday was Holy Thursday. I was deeply moved by the One Bread One Body’s reflection on the gospel. It talks about how some Christians risk their lives by going to mass due to their love for the Eucharist. How true. Just this past Sunday, we see many Coptic Christians lost their lives during the Palm Sunday mass. These are martyrs.

I have been thinking of ways to resume going to daily mass lately. In order to make it happen, all I have to sacrifice is less than one hour of sleep. Not to say that in where I live, the chance of losing my life while attending mass is minimal. I actually live close to a number of churches. Not going to daily mass really makes no sense. Lord, it just shows how weak I am and how little love I have for you. Help me love you, in my weakness…

Last night, after receiving the Body and Blood of Christ at the Lord’s Supper mass, I pondered on what transpired at the Last Supper. It was the last chance for Jesus to be with the apostles, whom He had chosen after much prayer, whom He called by name. Having spent 3 years with them, they still had absolutely no idea what Jesus was going to go through. They were not really paying attention to what He had to say and talked/ argued about silly things.

The thing is, these are the men handpicked by Jesus! When He called each of them, He knew their potential, in being great saints or terrible sinners. It’s the same with how He calls each one of us, or allows Himself to be consumed or even desecrated by humbling Himself to the appearance of bread and wine. He is fully aware of our sinfulness, yet He is willing to be in union with us.

This is Jesus’ way of love. He loves me, a weak, self-centred sinner with the same love that He loves the saints.

9/28 First day at MOP

​It’s 9:41pm. And I am sitting at a dimly lit corner, on a chair while holding my plastic bottle of water between my thighs. It has been so long since I last slept in a dorm setting. And it’s so different from GT because I had no work pressure at GT. Here, I only have WiFi when Uncle Roque is around. And even though I have a laptop with me, without WiFi, light and desk, I don’t think there is any chance for me to do work that requires laptop. 

The weather is hot. So cold water shower is not too much of a problem, but I still had to pray “all glory goes to you Lord” when I first put my head under the shower head. I have to get used to the 狼狽 way of taking shower in this dorm style environment. 

This is a super busy week for the brothers. They have had 5 shows already, and they will have two more shows for children, then four more shows for the general audience. They have more guests coming than expected. And they still have to run the centers. 

When we joined the brothers at Corpus Christi for prayers, the young faces and the 堅定 conviction of the brothers is inspiring. To see these brothers at such a young age, to commit to live a life like this, must be so puzzling to the ordinary people. 

When we were having meeting with Fr. Henry and Br. Ronel, when the bell rang at 6pm, they immediately started saying Angelus. The pillar that keeps them grounded is the prayer routine and to put prayer as a priority. 

For myself, of course the arrangement of putting us in separate monasteries makes me nervous, and now without WiFi, there is basically no way to communicate with them. In a situation like this, anxiety naturally arises in me. But once again, I would be fooling myself if I expect things will go to happen in a way that works exactly as I wish, when I come on a trip like this. I pray that I will not hinder the work that the Holy Spirit wishes to do through me.

St. Maximilian and Our Blessed Mother

After going to the relic exposition of St. Maximilian Kolbe, I was left with some free time so I decided to fill up (cheaper) gas at Costco. The line was sooooo long. As I waited in line, I looked in my phone to see what music is there. And there I found one single song from Frances Yip’s Grace and Glory album. It’s my favorite song from the album: How Can I Ever Let You Go. I looped this song for the rest of my wait and ride. The lyrics are so beautiful. Our Blessed Mother is so great, so humble, and so faithful.

Contemplate Mary, saying yes to God’s plan, that she be the Mother of God
She journeys to Bethlehem where she gives birth to Jesus
The joy and beauty of her new baby
Angels and shepherds and kings
Simeon’s prophecy that a sword will pierce her heart
And Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart

Where are You going, baby of mine?
So fragile, so needful
So poorly attired
Who are these angels, singing peace on earth?
Heart of my heart come to birth

Contemplate Mary, loving Jesus through His growing years
This wonderful and somehow mysterious child
She rejoices at each new insight and accomplishment
She tries to understand as Jesus begins to discover His own vocation
And Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart

Where are You going, little child of mine?
So frightened, so hurried, and fearful this time
Who are these angels, with crosses and spears?
Come and I’ll wipe away Your tears

Contemplate Mary at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry
She sees and hears such unusual things
The water becomes wine at Cana
There are miracles and parables and crowds
Friends, enemies
Is he mad as some of them say a heretic, the Messiah?
And Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart

Where are You going, O Son of mine?
With powers of healing, and fire in Your eyes
You’re off to wherever
I never will know
It’s time for me now to let You go

Contemplate Mary at the foot of the cross
She’s there, she stands by Him no matter what
With Him she weeps, agonizes and struggles and surrenders
At last he is given back to her, dead
And Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart

Where are You going, heart of my heart?
Your pain is my pain
We never will part
Your death means so much more than I ever will know
But how can I ever let You go

Contemplate Mary, at the empty tomb
And with the other disciples in the Upper Room
She meets her risen Son
Believes in Him and knows the power of His resurrection
The empty tomb, fire and wind
In the name of Jesus, be healed
And Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart

Where are You going, wish that I knew
You’re off to forever, Your dream has come true
Who are these angels, I think that I know
Heart of my heart, Jesus
Dream of my dreams, Jesus
How can I ever let You go

I thank St. Maximilian Kolbe for once again helping me appreciate how great Our Blessed Mother truly is. Mother Mary, sorry for my lack of devotion to you. You are indeed the most perfect disciple of Jesus, and our most loving mother.

Never lose hope!

The One Bread One Body reflection is one that I have to keep reminding myself of always.

Monday, May 25, 2015, St. Bede the Venerable, Pope St. Gregory VII, St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

Sirach 17:19-24, Psalm 32:1-2, 5-7, Mark 10:17-27
Link to Readings –>


“He encourages those who are losing hope.” -Sirach 17:19

Hope in the Lord leads directly to strength. Those who hope in the Lord will never fail in strength (1 Mc 2:61) and actually renew their strength (Is 40:31). This is because “hope remains” after all else passes away (see 1 Cor 13:13). A people of hope is forever a people of strength.
Since hope is so critical to strength, it follows that Satan would relentlessly attack people to prevent them from growing in hope. To beat down our hope, Satan bludgeons us with:
  * a delaying game. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Prv 13:12) rather than strong. We defeat this by lovingly waiting on the Lord (Is 40:31, RSV-CE) as long as it takes.
  * disappointments. We don’t let defeats conquer hope, for “hope will not leave us disappointed” (Rm 5:5; Is 49:23).
  * sadness, which can lead to despair. We must fight this by rejoicing in hope (Rm 12:12) always (Phil 4:4).
  * repeated temptations to focus on self instead of God. Instead, we must look at what God has done in past generations (Sir 2:10). Those who have hoped in God have always been rewarded.

We may be so battered by trials that we are unable to raise our heads, much less grow in hope. God lifts up our head (Ps 3:4) and refuses to let us lose hope. The Lord Himself “encourages those who are losing hope” (Sir 17:19). When all seems hopeless, God Himself will give us a living hope (see 1 Pt 1:3, RNAB). Therefore, never give up, never stop waiting on the Lord, never give in to hopelessness, “and always hope in your God” (Hos 12:7).

Prayer: Jesus, I will focus on You, my Hope of glory (Col 1:27).

Promise: “With God all things are possible.” -Mk 10:27

Praise: Pope St. Gregory VII’s last words were: “I have loved justice and hated iniquity…therefore, I die in exile” (see Ps 101).

How a Japanese Movie Reminds Me of Mercy

I am sitting on the AC015 flight to Hong Kong now, just finished watching the second movie: 深宵食堂 midnight diner. It’s an interesting movie like most of the Japanese movies I have watched.

The diner is run by a guy (people call him Master) in his 50s with a scar over his eye and face. (The movie never explains the scar, but I would assume he was probably a 從良了的江湖大佬). This place is like a community or cell group of its own. The customers know one another and feel comfortable with sharing personal stories with each other: broke up, had an affair, challenges at work etc. And the Master has a merciful heart, when people have nowhere to go, he would offer to help, starting by cooking something they want to eat.

What I find special is how people can open up so much, to share very difficult struggles. In some cases, like the woman who had an affair with a rich guy, when he died, at first she didn’t have any inheritance, and in this place, a young fellow expressed interest and they quickly hit it off, and the relationship ended the moment she found she had a share with the guy’s money. The other folks find this woman pretty bad and criticized her. But after a while she seems to be welcomed again.

People’s struggles are very unique and real, despite the fact that I don’t fully understand some of the details. The girl who came from rural place, who had nowhere to go, ate 霸王餐 at first and went back to ask to be hired. And the first thing Master offered was a few bucks so she could have a bath.

And the story between the man who lost his wife in the Tsunami, who got led on by the volunteer… Going all the way to Tokyo to ask to be with her, facing the rejection and acted out… Turns out the volunteer used the volunteer experience to help get herself back together after being dumped with the boss whom she had an affair with…

The weird cop and the delivery girl, who seems to be 弱智… Very interesting and warm interactions.

And the scene where the customers ate there in Halloween costumes, it’s not funny funny but it’s interesting in a way that I can’t articulate.

I think what touches me is the kind of relationship that people can build when they open up, not afraid of being judged,  whatever mistakes they had committed. And that’s a place where new people can join and be accepted. The Master helps me understand what being merciful is about. It’s being gentle. It’s not being super nice to you that the receiving end doesn’t know how to pay back. It starts by offering something small, it’s a gesture to show the other person “I delight in your existence” (from “Consoling the Heart of Jesus”). This gesture is small yet is the most important thing to establishing the relationship, it’s supposed to meet the need of that person at that moment.

Japanese movies amaze me that the stories are so unique and so full of 人性, so realistic and so 有血有肉.

From 情書, to 藉著雨點說愛你, to 禮儀師之奏鳴曲, to 告白, to (unknown: about a man played by 唐澤壽明 who played a PowerRangers figure), to (unknown: about how a young guy gifted in music formed a band with friends, but was manipulated by the agent), to (unknown: how a family survived the Tsunami), to 字裡人間, to 誰調換了我的父親.

Wish to see these movies again…